I have a confession to make.
We're co-sleeping again (gasp!!).
I'm really not sure how this happened. At first, it was just happening every once in a while, when Madeline would wake up in the night. It was just easier to bring her into bed with us. She would quickly drift off to sleep between us until the morning.
Then that started to happen EVERYNIGHT. She'd go to bed around 7pm and wake up around 2pm and the inevitable transfer to our bed would be made. It was just easier than letting her cry herself back to sleep.
Well, she must have caught on to how this works. Over the holidays she began protesting being in her crib at all! The only place she would stop crying was in our bed. She actually would point to our room when we came in to check on her.
For the past 2 weeks we've been letting her cry herself to sleep at 7pm (usually takes 30+ minutes). When she wakes up again, usually around 9pm, we put her in our bed and she falls right back to sleep. And there she stays until the morning. I just can't handle having her cry in her crib for another hour at that point.
Based on the books I've read, I'm pretty sure this is doing us no good. I know that it's teaching her bad habits. We're not allowing her to teach herself to fall back to sleep on her own. But honestly, at 2am in the morning, I just don't have the strength to hear her scream "mamma" for over an hour.
So for now, I'm just going to enjoy the easy road and cherish our co-sleeping days. In the back of my mind I know that I need to dedicate a week or two to some serious sleep training. I'm just not ready to face it yet.
If anyone is looking for a great book about sleep for babies, toddlers and children, I highly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. It's a great resource that explains the sleep patterns of babies at different ages and then teaches you how to help your kids to be amazing sleepers at each stage. If you read the book, you'll know that everything I seem to be doing is NOT the best way to go about this. I've even gone back to read the book again recently just to double check. Yep, not right. But when I do decide to get us back on track, I'll be referencing this book again.